One year anniversary of teen struck by lightning on Siesta Key; officials speak on lightning safety

Jacob Brewer
Jacob Brewer(WWSB)
Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 12:12 AM EDT
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SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) -One year ago, a 14-year-old boy from Texas was struck by lightning on Siesta Key Beach while on vacation with his family.

Jacob Brewer was on vacation with his family in July of 2020 when he was struck by lightning.

Brewer survived but suffered severe neurological damage. The Brewers who lived in Texas, crowdsourced to raise funds for his treatment in Tampa until he was able to return home. The family is returning to Florida to seek treatment at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville after seeing over 27 different doctors.

“Here we are cross country here in Jacksonville away from his home so that he can recover,” said Brewer.

Family members tell ABC7 that Jacob will be seeking treatment using the hospital’s ‘Exoskeleton’ Hybrid Assistive Limb system, which helps stimulate muscles and send signals to the brain to help the body learn to move again.

“He’s such a brave kid and he never complains its incredible everything that he’s been through,” said Jacob’s mother Barbara Brewer.

Sarasota County Deputy Mark Eve helped with reviving the teen after not having a pulse after being struck, said seeing Jacob doing well after the incident is one of his proudest moments.

“I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish that day, even though my part was just a small part,” said Eve.

Sarasota County Lifeguard Captain Roy Routh said it is imperative to keep watch of your surroundings when at the beach.

“When it comes when the flags change please head the lifeguard warnings and when you go to shelter go somewhere with walls,” said Routh.

Brewer said going forward to prevent this from happening to anyone else using your phone can come in handy.

“I highly suggest that you download the lightning app it can detect lightning within 10 miles,” said Brewer. “So if you’re going to the beach have that on your phone.”

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